Reiman Gardens unveils new Sycamore Falls exhibit

The new exhibit features waterfalls, streams and a reflecting pool with a custom-built tower as the focal point.

Maris Cameron

Reiman Gardens unveiled a brand new three-acre garden space Wednesday featuring a combination of exotic and native plants recommended by horticulture staff experts. 

After five years under construction and a pandemic hindering the progress of the exhibit’s expansion, Reiman Gardens was proud to present their new project: Sycamore Falls. 

Joined with the Ames Chamber of Commerce, Reiman Gardens opened Sycamore Falls to the public with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

Reiman Gardens director Ed Lyon introduced and spoke on behalf of the entire staff as horticulture director Sarah Rummery did the honors of cutting the ribbon. 

In his opening remarks, Lyon listed specific goals for the new garden. Among these was the idea of encouraging visitors to walk the entirety of Reiman Gardens, with Sycamore Falls being their desired ending destination.

Sycamore Falls achieved this goal, as various visitors conveyed their sense of gratitude within hours of the garden’s opening. 

“I have always loved Reiman Gardens’s exhibits,” Bonnie Winslow-Garvin. “I took my twin daughters here to the Christina Butterfly wing when they were little.”

“Now, I can enjoy the beauty of Sycamore Falls, too,” Winslow-Garvin said. 

Additional viewers of the event included Ames residents Glen and Mary Jo Mente.

“We appreciate seeing Reiman Gardens open again,” Glenn Mente said. “We have not been able to come back in years. This is wonderful.”

Sycamore Falls was a $3.4 million project. 

Lyon explained that the exhibit’s themes focused on the sounds of water movement, community togetherness and self-serenity. 

Leading with a curved entrance bridge, followed by a reflection pool and a 10-foot tall waterfall, Sycamore Falls captured the depth of the human spirit.

However, above all, the garden’s key feature remained to be Fayetteville Tower. 

“It’s an iconic, custom built structure with a state of the art light display and computer programming system,” Ed Moran, senior director, said. 

“We even brought a professional designer in from San Diego to collaborate with us on the tower’s architectural layout,” Moran continued. 

The Reiman Gardens staff is devoted to exposing visitors to the natural beauty of the botanical world. By making Sycamore Falls come to life, the staff at Reiman Gardens continue building a legacy for younger generations to enjoy. 

Iowa State students can tour the garden’s grounds for free by showing their student I.D. upon arrival.